All the cooking and baking competition shows on television have made being a chef seem glamorous, and more people than ever are interested in culinary careers. However, it is a very competitive business, and it can be difficult finding a good paying job as a chef. Here are five things you should know about being a chef.
Culinary School Isn’t Necessary
If you’re interested in working as a chef in a restaurant, you don’t necessarily need to go to culinary school. Since you will need to work your way up in the business,you can get a job in a kitchen helping to prepare food and learn through hands-on training. While culinary school can teach you the correct terminology and help youimprove your skills, working in a kitchen will also help improve your skills and allow you to get practical experience.
Work Will Be Hard
Working in a restaurant means working long, hard hours on your feet. When you first start out, you may work 10 to 12-hour shifts in a kitchen cleaning and preparing food for the line cooks in the kitchen. Working in a kitchen will leave you very little time for anything else, including looking for a new chef job when you’re ready to advance in your career.
Training Is On-Going
When you work in the restaurant business, you are always learning something new, no matter what your position is in the kitchen. Food trends are constantly changing, so you will need to keep abreast of them to know how to prepare those foods for your customers. In addition to learning new cooking techniques, you will also learn about managing a staff and a food budget, so you can work your way up to an executive chef’s position.
Your Reputation Matters
As you continue to work in kitchens and get promoted or be recruited for new positions, you will start to build a reputation in the culinary world. Your reputation can help make your career, or it can undermine your success, especially if you are considered difficult to work with. While it is important to get things done correctly in the kitchen and put out good food, you don’t want to become known as a bully or develop a bad reputation, because that can make it difficult to find work and stay employed.
Working in a restaurant can be difficult for women, because it is a very male-dominated field. While more women are building reputations as excellent chefs, it can be hard for them to break into the business. If you are a woman, be prepared to work twice as hard as your male colleagues if you want to be an executive chef and run your own restaurant someday.
Working in a kitchen is hard work, and you will be working long hours when you first start out. This leaves you very little time for a life, which can be difficult if youhave a family. However, for many people, it is a rewarding career.